Records of William L. Bryant Foundation, 1948 - 2000Manuscript ML-91


The William L. Bryant Foundation was established in 1950, by William Junior Bryant, Dartmouth College Class of 1925, who named it after his father, industrialist William LeRoy Bryant (1875-1931). William J. Bryant was intensely interested in archeology and had, from 1948-1957, been involved in the excavation of the Roman amphitheatre at Tarragona, Spain. In 1952, his interest turned to an excavation of Roman Pollentia at Alcudia, Mallorca. The following year, he bought a manor house in Alcudia to serve as the excavation headquarters and museum. He created the Centro Arqueologico Hispano-Americano, de las Islas Baleares in 1956, as a center for archeological studies, located in "Casa Bryant." The Bryant Foundation worked with many eminent Spanish and American archeologists. Over the years, a number of sites were examined and/or excavated around the Spanish Mediterranean. The Bryant Foundation pioneered the use of aerial photography in Spain to locate archeological sites. It was also the first in the country to us an aqualung to explore underwater sites.

In addition to its work in Spain, the Bryant Foundations sponsored exploration of pre-Columbian sites in Florida and the West Indies. A West Indian collection of books, folk art, musical instruments and phonograph records was begun, and housed at the Central Florida Museum at Orlando in 1966; the collection was moved to Florida Technological University (University of Central Florida) in 1972. Eight reports entitled "American Studies 1-8," were published on the results of the Florida/West Indies digs (1956-1972).

Archeologists associated with the Foundation often participated in conferences and symposia, some of which published papers read, and Mr. Bryant himself published books on archeology in Spain and Florida. Students participated at the Pollentia site almost from the beginning of the excavations. The Spanish archeologists often had graduate students working with them and archeologist Daniel E. Woods of Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, held a summer school at Alcudia for several years. In 1983, Dartmouth College undergraduates joined the team, in response to an internship program funded by the Foundation, under the supervision of Professor Norman Doenges of the Classics Department. This program continued every summer until 1997, when Bryant Foundation involvement at Alcudia came to an end. William Junior Bryant died in 1998. The Foundation continued to exist until 2005.

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